The USDA ReConnect round 1 has offically ended with an award of $523, 749 to Breda Telephone Corp. in rural Iowa.

Breda Telephone Corp. will deploy an FTTH network to connect 113 people, 20 farms and nine businesses in Arcadia, IA, which is in Carroll County, a press release notes.

Although the initial budget for the first ReConnect round was $600 million, the USDA got $100 million in additional funding through the CARES Act, which was passed in March to moderate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was aimed at applications that previously were rejected. The footprint of the new applications had to be the same as those that were denied.

The focus now moves fully to round two of the ReConnect program. That program is set to invest $550 million under rules that are slightly different than those of the pilot phase. This phase will provide funding of “up to” $200 million in grants, up to $200 million in loans and up to $200 million in grant/loan combinations. The application period for round two of the program ended on April 15. Five days later, the USDA announced that it had received 172 applications for $1.57 billion, the press release about the USDA ReConnect Iowa award noted.

As of now, USDA ReConnect round 1 has made 82  awards in 34 states and territories totaling $744,303,168. Those projects could potentially serve about 172,000 households, 19,000 small businesses and farms and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities and critical community facilities.

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